Shyla Heal, the teenage daughter of Australian basketball legend Shane Heal, is making a beeline for the WNBA after Chicago Sky chosen her with pick No. 8 in Friday’s (AEST) draft.
Shane played in the NBA with Minnesota and San Antonio and was by Shyla’s side at The Star in Sydney on Friday morning when the declaration came through she was headed toward the Windy City.
She joins Opals symbols Liz Cambage and Lauren Jackson as the lone Aussies to go top-10 in the WNBA draft and will carry out her trade Stateside in the most competitive league in the world.
Shyla delighted in a heavenly 2020 season Down Under playing for the Townsville Fire, winning the Youth Player of the Year award to solidify her status as one of Australia’s most brilliant up-and-coming basketball abilities.
Her hot streak put the 19-year-old on the radar for national selection in front of the current year’s Tokyo Olympics and the 2022 World Cup, and procured her a spot in the All-WNBL Second Team.
Townsville coach Sandy Brondello said toward the end of last year: “She is going to be an Opal; it is just a matter of when.
“She has got really good skills and I think she has improved in her playmaking ability.
“Not just being a scorer, but it is also about being a creator and distributor.
“She is on the up and she is only going to get better and better.”
Heal has for quite some time been promoted for large things subsequent to appearing in the WNBL at only 14 and completed last season among the league’s top five scorers, averaging 25.3 points and 7.3 assists per game.
Heal was documenting her day via social media as the WNBA Draft occurred, and looked excited as she waited with her family for her name to be called out.